Hacking probes show Singapore must be on its guard

Hacking probes show Singapore must be on its guard

SINGAPORE - On Nov 2, when multiple government websites went down for several hours, some Singaporeans wondered if it was the beginning of a new sort of havoc in Singapore.

Four days before, hackers had threatened to hit out at government websites if it did not revoke its licensing regime for online news sites.

A masked man identifying himself as a part of cyber activism group Anonymous delivered an ominous message in a YouTube video threatening to "unleash" a "legion" of hackers on the island's infrastructure.

People wondered what the might of this new digital legion might be.

Could they disrupt essential financial services like ATM withdrawals?

Would they be able to steal personal information like NRIC or credit card numbers from government and retailer sites?

Organised crime groups have been known to do this.

Although the trial has yet to begin, IT experts have already noted that the alleged hackers were not sophisticated operators capable of such deeds.

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